UK food group Northern Foods has appointed Nestle executive John Coppola to the new role of group technical innovation director.

Coppola takes up his new role today (16 February), which is hoped will "further reinforce the technical innovation expertise" within Northern Foods, the company said.

Coppola was most recently innovation acceleration director with Nestle and worked across the US, South America and Europe. He has also held senior technical roles with Unilever Europe, HJ Heinz and Diageo.

Stefan Barden, chief executive of Northern Foods, said: "I am delighted to bring John on board and to work with him once again. This appointment, reporting to the CEO, reinforces our commitment to being a leader in food science and technology, and placing it at the heart of everything we do."